Lectures: 1 session / week, 3 hours / session
9.20 or Equivalent.
Survey and special topics designed for graduate students in the brain and cognitive sciences. Emphasizes ethological studies of natural behavior patterns and their analysis in laboratory work, with contributions from field biology (mammology, primatology), sociobiology, and comparative psychology. Stresses mammalian behavior but also includes major contributions from studies of other vertebrates and of invertebrates. Covers some applications of animal-behavior knowledge to neuropsychology and behavioral pharmacology.
Below is an outline for the first session. Please do the following:
1. Focus on the Individual Organism
a. "Comparative Psychology" in America: The real focus was/is on man. Notes on non-biological comparisons, "Homologies", "Phylogenetic Scale".
b. "Ethology"; some people now prefer "Behavioral Ecology".
- Definition by K. Lorenz: see The Foundations of Ethology, pp. 1, 3, 65, 101.
- Whitman and Heinroth. Stories from Lorenz: pp. 100, 107.
- Cf. Charles Darwin. Illustrations from his book.
- "Human Ethology" of Eibl-Eibesfeldt (see K. L., pp. 10-11). The "Body Language" craze.
- "Neuroethology"-- an approach that goes two ways:
a) Ethology informs brain & behavior studies.
b) Brain manipulation effects --> new info. on behavioral organization.
Examples: multiple kinds of aggression; evidence of primitive vs. advanced behavioral elements (spinal/brainstem vs. forebrain localization).
2. Focus on Societies
a. "Sociobiology": E. O. Wilson's definition and diagram: See Sociobiology, The Abridged Edition, pp. 3-5.
b. Cf. Human Sociology. Notes from E. O. Wilson, Ibid., pp. 4.
3. Focus on Habitat and the Species it Supports, and Interactions ("Balance")
a. "Ecology": E.g., Tropical rainforest (see Tropical Nature, by A. Forsyth and K. Miyata ), Tropical savannah, etc.
b. The problem of breadth: Knowing too little about everything. Hence, people often think of ecology as focussed on conservation. But there are good examples of ecology as a science that includes animal behavior: See Bourliere's book.
c. When the behavior of animals becomes critical: "Upsetting the balance of nature." Examples: African elephants and the acacia trees. Man's hunting, pollution effects, pleasures that encourage poaching. "Killer" bees, etc.
4. Focus on Single Species or Groups of Species in a broad way that includes Ecology and Behavior.
a. "Mammology". Note Bourliere's books, one older, one recent. Note contents; examples.
b. "Primatology", "Cetology", "Entymology", etc.
5. The Amateur "Naturalists": The Disciplined Hobbyist's Contributions. (Cf. astronomy.) Details, when amassed, have been important in the development of ideas about behavioral evolution.
See Lorenz's comments about the contributions of amateur ornithologists -- bird watchers -- to early ethology. Also, Jim Corbett's stories (Jungle Lore, Oxford Univ. Press, 1953): Examples from the life of a hunter who cared about animals.
Animal Lab Time